General Fitz John Porter Autograph Signed Letter ALS to General John C. Tidball Re: 5th Corps History

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General Fitz John Porter Autograph Signed Letter ALS to General John C. Tidball Re: 5th Corps History

249.99

Item #SQ0325851

Offered here is an interesting 1892 letter written and signed by Civil War General Fitz John Porter to Brevet Brigadier General John C. Tidball. Porter had been overseeing the compilation of a history of the 5th Corps, which he had commanded early in the war. Phil Sheridan biographer Carswell McClellan had been working on the project, according to Porter, but had passed away. Porter hoped Tidball, who had served in the artillery and had a long post-war Army career, would complete the work. I looked into Tidball's publications, however, and did not find a 5th Corps work among them. While there is no further evidence in the letter offered here, 

I speculate that Tidball declined Porter's offer, as he was working on his own project at that time, a comprehensive history of the Army of the Potomac's artillery, published between 1891 and 1893 in Journal of the Military Service Institution. I further speculate that the 5th Corps work Porter discussed was William H. Powell's "The Fifth Army Corps (Army of the Potomac)," published in 1896. In full, the letter reads:

68 West 68th Street
New York, March 27th '92

Dear General,
The death of Col Carswell McClellan again brings upon the duty of loss of seeking a suitable person to take his place as Historian of the 5th Army Corps and to complete the work in which he has made much progress (largely down to it if not through Gettysburg). Among those I have considered and of whom several have spoken, is yourself and none considered better qualified.

The manuscript and all documents and data are ready to be turned over to me, but I do not know on what conditions and shall not ask until I have some one who would be willing to resume the task and finish it to completion. May I ask of you to let me know if you would undertake it? It would be largely a labor of love to the old Corps, & the Army of the Potomac. In addition to the data now in possession of Mrs McClellan, I can assure this succession of much important data from the Warren papers, from Gen Webb and others and so far as possible from several others who are familiar with the accounts connected with the 5th Corps. Your own recollections would to some degree render you great help--familiar as you are with the Services of the Army of the Potomac while your late articles give assurance of your aptitude for the work.

Will you kindly tell me if you would be willing to undertake the work in case it should be offered you? Will you please consider this question & kindly give me your decision as early as convenient & oblige other friends of yours of the A of P as well as

Yours Truly
F. J. Porter

Gen J. C. Tidball U.S.A.

The letter was written on a standard bifolium stationery sheet measuring about 7 3/4" x 10 1/2". The paper is in good sturdy condition, not stiff, and not particularly delicate. It has several creases from original folds. There are a couple of very small holes in the lower left section (visible 8th line from the bottom on p. 1). Very little wear, if any at all, to corners and edges. Signed by Porter in his distinctive style.

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